The Advantages of Full Matrix Capture in NDT
In recent years, phased array ultrasonic testing (PAUT) has changed the industrial take on their non-destructive testing (NDT) approach. It has been successful in providing accurate identification of flaws and discontinuities in the inspection area, pre-or post-service. However, challenges remain when conducting complex inspections like a very thick component. Imaging the characterization of deeper indications can be made easier with the introduction of full matrix capture technology. With this data acquisition method, it is possible to carry out an in-depth inspection of these complex structures.
Full Matrix Capture and Its Applicability in Flaw Identification
Full matrix capture is a data acquisition for phased array ultrasonics. PAUT eliminates the limitation of single probe ultrasonic testing (UT) by operating with a series of small transducers in a single assembly which can be controlled and swept across a piece to test along the various angles without moving the probes. In doing so, raw signals from individual transducers can be ignored and only a summarized version is captured. Full matrix capture helps in developing a complete picture to identify every possible flaw with detailed data collection.
Data capture with full matrix capture ensures that every possible data from each transmitter-receiver combination used in the ultrasonic testing is captured. These captured raw time-domain signals (A-scans) can be analyzed in real-time or saved for later processing. These A-scans are digitized and organized into matrix grids which act as a pixel in the image. The processing and reconstruction of the raw data can be done for every possible skew angle, focal point, or aperture, by utilizing advanced focusing algorithms such as the total focusing method (TFM), which can assist in deriving in-depth details from the data. This can include the identification of potential flaws such as cracks, corrosion, inclusions, or porosity. The high-resolution imaging obtained with the full matrix capture data helps in ensuring that even the smallest flaw possible is detected, thus, establishing the strength of the component.
How Advantages of Full Matrix Capture Support NDT
The advantage of full matrix capture for non-destructive testing lies in its capability to capture and analyze the data with greater precision. The capabilities of full matrix capture can be leveraged for the following unique advantages:
- A large amount of data can be collected and analyzed in real-time or processed later.
- During the post-processing of data, the beam angles and focus can be readjusted to better characterize the flaw.
- The range of data captured facilitates inspection for more than one type of flaw without specific targeting.
- The high sensitivity in data capture and high resolution in imaging allows for complete flaw detection in NDT analysis when the proper equipment is used.
Despite these advantages, the data processing phase can be a challenge due to the utilization of a large amount of data. With advanced technology such as Zetec’s TOPAZ 64, the data acquisition and analysis process can be made easier.
Leveraging the Advantages of Full Matrix Capture for Complete Inspection
Compared to standard PAUT, full matrix capture can provide much more complete data acquisition capabilities, whereby in-depth information can be derived from the inspection area. The real-time or offline data processing capabilities allow technicians to study every single signal in detail in the search for potential flaws. This is a much-needed advantage in ensuring the integrity and strength of a component. The full matrix capture with instruments such as TOPAZ 64 is easier to set up and process thanks to the powerful tools in UltraVision software. The accuracy in inspection can thus be achieved in a fast, precise, and cost-efficient manner.